Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.
Government & Communications
The Federal Communications Commission has released its Annual Performance Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The report details the FCC's efforts in 2021 under four main goals: closing the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and reforming the FCC's processes. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel highlights the FCC's actions over the course of 2021, stating, "During FY 2021, the Commission mounted an extraordinary response to a historic crisis.
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson met on March 29 to discuss spectrum policy efforts, the first monthly FCC/NTIA coordination meeting since the leaders launched their Spectrum Coordination Initiative. The leaders also announced that they have launched a joint task force which met this week to begin discussing the details of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agencies.
Reps Cammack and Costa Urge USDA to Prioritize ReConnect Funding in Rural and Underserved Communities
Reps Kat Cammack (R-FL) and Jim Costa (D-CA) led a letter with their colleagues to urge US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack to ensure the ReConnect Pilot Program serves rural America and the underserved communities that need it most.
Under pressure from progressive activists, Democrats are considering employing a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to push through President Biden’s nominees for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee have so far blocked the nominations of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC and Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to the FCC, largely on grounds that they are too partisan.
On March 28, President Biden announced a $5.8 trillion budget proposal for the US government for fiscal year 2023. Biden's proposal includes:
Department of Commerce's Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan Includes $50 Billion Investment in Broadband
The Department of Commerce released its fiscal year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan laying out an agenda for innovation, resilience and equity to strengthen US competitiveness in the 21st century. The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take the lead in ensuring all Americans can access affordable, future-proof broadband by implementing a nearly $50 billion investment in infrastructure, planning, digital inclusion, and workforce development. The Department's four broadband strategies included in its Strategic Plan are the following:
As Russia makes preparations to possibly disconnect from the global internet in a bid to control the narrative around the invasion of Ukraine, Lantern is rushing to lay the final pieces of an unbreakable network that the Kremlin won’t be able to take down. The company has seen staggering growth inside Russia in the last four weeks for its app that allows users to bypass restrictions the Kremlin has put in place on platforms like Facebook, Twitter
The United States and the European Commission have committed to a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, which will foster trans-Atlantic data flows and address the concerns raised by the Court of Justice of the European Union when it struck down in 2020 the Commission’s adequacy decision underlying the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. By ensuring a durable and reliable legal basis for data flows, the new framework will underpin an inclusive and competitive digital economy and lay the foundation for further economic cooperation. Through the framework, the US makes commitments to:
President Biden has yet to announce his pick for inspector general for the Federal Communications Commission. That position, which is meant to audit FCC spending and investigate potential fraud and abuse, is set to assume new significance, with billions of dollars in pandemic relief and infrastructure cash now flowing into the agency.